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Everest South Face, Davo Karnicar's ski descent


On 7 October the Slovenian Davo Karnicar made the first uninterrupted ski descent of the South Face of Everest

On 7 October the Slovenian Davo Karnicar made the first uninterrupted ski descent of the South Face of Everest. His descent from the summit started at about 8.00am and finished five hours later in Base Camp.

The ascent/descent details are as follows:
it took Karnicar four days to reach the summit of Everest. He left Camp 4 at the South Col (8000m) at 10.30pm and climbed through the night, reaching the summit between 6.00am and 7.00am, together with Franc Oderlap and the Sherpas Ang Dorjee and Pasang Tenzing.

After having put on his skis Karnicar skied down the crest, past the Hillary Step to Camp 4 on the South Col. Here he put on a specially designed helmet camera weighing 3kgs and filmed his descent to Base Camp at 5300m. He avoided the notorious Icefall by skiing left.

Karnicar commented " We were very much surprised there was so much snow there! The Hillary step, the steep crest and huge amounts of snow which threatened to avalanche - these are the main characteristics of this first uninterrupted skiing from the top of the tallest mountain on this planet."

Davo Karnicar is not new to this type of extreme descents. His impressive list includes the Eiger (NE Face) the Matterhorn (E Face) and Annapurna (8091 m).

It remains to be said that, from what can be made out on the Slovenian website that covered his descent, it seems as if Karnicar only used supplementary oxygen when sleeping for three hours at Camp IV. The images of Karnicar reaching the summit clearly show him wearing an oxygen mask however; given the importance of this particular detail, more precise information will be needed.

This is not the first ski descent of Everest. The Frenchman Pierre Tardivel skied down the South Face in autumn 1992 but started from the South summit at 8760m while the Italian Hans Kammerlander skied down the North Face in 1996 - his remarkable oxygenless solo ascent took 16 hours and 45 min and a total of less than 24 hours for the ascent and descent.

Further information and videos:

Davo Karnicar on the summit of Everest shortly before skking down the South Face

The summit pyramid of Everest
photo F. Piardi.





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